JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Israeli Arab Knesset member, Haneen Zoabi (Balad party), is blaming her own country, Israel, for the terror attack in Bulgaria two weeks ago.
The attack killed five Israelis, the Bulgarian bus driver, and injured three dozen others. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hezbollah and Iran for the attack.
On Israel's Channel 10, Zoabi said the policy of "occupation" precipitated the suicide bombing.
"Israel is not a victim and even when civilians are killed, the occupying Israeli policy is to blame," Zoabi said, according to The Jerusalem Post. "If there were no occupation, no repression, and no blockade, then this would not have happened."
Zoabi said the media distorted her contention, namely that "occupation" is in itself terrorism and at the core of all the suffering and conflict in Israel. She said she condemned the attack in Burgas and took part in a moment of silence in the Knesset.
Iran also blamed Israel for the attack in Bulgaria.
"Such a terrorist operation could only be planned and carried out by the same regime whose short history is full of state terrorism operations and assassinations aimed [at] implicating others for narrow political gains," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told the Security Council last week.
Khazaee said Iran had never taken part "in such a despicable attempt on innocent people."
Zoabi also slammed the request for a moment of silence during opening ceremonies in London to honor the memory of 11 Israeli athletes slain at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
"Why don't they commemorate the Palestinians that Israel murdered," she said, according to Channel 2.
"If Israel would say that it recognizes the injustice it has done to the Palestinians, then it would also be logical to ask the world to remember all sides," she said. "But it is hypocritical to continue to bring up the victims of 40 years ago while Israel wants to hide the victims of recent years."
Again, Zoabi was not alone in rejecting the memorial to the slain Israelis. Several Arab countries reportedly threatened to withdraw from the Games if a moment of silence was observed.
In a letter to IOC President Jacque Rogge, Jabril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, thanked the committee for denying the request.
"Sport is a bridge for love, unification and for spreading peace among the nations and it must not be a cause for divisiveness and for spreading racism," he said.
Jabril, a senior member of the Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction, spent more than 20 years in Israeli prisons for terrorist activities.
Joining the Blockade-busting Flotilla
In May 2010, Zoabi traveled aboard the Turkish-owned Mavi Mamara flagship, which led a six-vessel flotilla to break Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Nine Turkish activists, one American born, were killed when soldiers, fearing for their lives, were given permission to use live ammunition instead of paintball guns.
Afterward, Zoabi said there were no people carrying weapons near her. She later told Army Radio she thought the clubs were standard equipment on the ship and not weapons to attack the soldiers.
But an IDF video filmed during the confrontation showed her watching and listening to everything that was going on.
The Knesset Ethics Committee voted to strip her of some parliamentary privileges, noting the Turkish IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) "humanitarian" organization, which helped plan and finance the flotilla, "aids radical Islamic and anti-Western terror organizations and supports and provides funding for Hamas."
The committee determined that participating in an attempt to breach Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, imposed to prevent uninhibited weapons flow, is "not legitimate behavior for a member of Knesset."
Zoabi lost the right to hold a diplomatic passport and was banned from participating in discussions during the summer session.
She accused the committee of failing to defend her right to "express her opinion" and protect her from "racism."